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Mr Beast is known for giving away large amounts of money and his Beast Philanthropy wants to alleviate hunger, homelessness, unemployment and curing 1000 people of blindness. Mr Beast recently hired Dan Mace, a South African, as Chief Content Officer for Beast Philanthropy. Here is the YouTube video and CapeTalk radio interview.


As with any other brand, a nonprofit needs a brand strategy. A nonprofit brand strategy is essentially a plan that outlines how a nonprofit organisation will present itself to the public, including its mission, values, and purpose.


Brand strategy is all about using the right messaging and visuals to communicate more effectively with stakeholders and the public.


Creating a dedicated brand strategy is a vital but often neglected step for managers at nonprofit organisations. Defining a brand strategy will allow you to develop your business by standing out from the competition and communicating your unique value proposition.


This article will serve as a guide for building a brand strategy in the nonprofit sector. From visual design to public appearance, this article will serve as a go-to resource for nonprofits looking to increase their social impact.


So, read, enjoy, and bookmark this page to keep coming back as you embark on your brand strategy journey.


Importance of Brand Strategy For Nonprofit Organisations


So, we have discussed what a brand strategy is, but a significant question remains…


Why is having a strong brand so important for nonprofits?


Simple. A well-defined brand strategy can help you to achieve targets and goals effectively.


Cambridge Dictionary defines strategy as “a detailed plan for achieving success” and I defined strategy in the article brand strategy: know what it is as “clarifying a goal and how to achieve it”.


Ultimately, a strategy provides a clear direction and focus for marketing and communication efforts. For nonprofits, a brand strategy is the easiest way to help attract and retain volunteers and donors. In addition, by clearly communicating the organisation’s purpose, a nonprofit can create a strong emotional connection with its stakeholders and inspire them to get involved with the organisation to achieve its goals.


Second, a strong brand can help a nonprofit to build trust and credibility with internal stakeholders, donors, and the general public.


Trust is important for all organisations, but it’s paramount with nonprofits – trust and credibility are critical for securing funding and partnerships. In addition, a nonprofit can demonstrate its reliability and commitment to its mission by presenting a competent brand.


Overall, a strong brand strategy is essential for any nonprofit organisation that wants to communicate its mission and purpose effectively while helping as many people as possible in a competitive environment.


Remember, a strong strategic brand identity can dramatically impact people’s public perception of your organisation. Unfortunately, many new nonprofit organisations put little to no emphasis on their brand marketing. As a result, they fail to reach potential supporters who may actually be a great fit.


Key Purposes of Branding


Creating a unique and memorable strategic and visual brand identity is likely the primary goal when embarking on a brand strategy process.


However, branding has many other benefits that are rarely spoken about.


Increasing Market Share: An organisation can increase its market share by creating a strong brand that effectively communicates its unique value proposition (more on this later). This is because people will become accustomed to seeing your nonprofit as the “go-to”. My top advice here is to be different and focus on a very specific audience. This is because trying to reach lots of different audiences will make it tricky to hone in on anyone and will likely make your brand too generic.


Enhancing Customer Experience: A well-defined brand can help create a consistent and positive customer experience, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty. This is because people usually get behind brands due to emotional factors. In addition, the more people that know about your nonprofit and your purpose and connect with your brand the better their experience will probably be.


These benefits have one common factor you may have noticed; they directly lead to increased revenue. As a nonprofit, your goal is to help people, and money enables this. Therefore, developing a brand strategy can directly lead to increased revenue.


Developing a brand strategy is your best investment in your organisation. Still, you might wonder, how do I develop a brand strategy?


Don’t worry; we have covered that too.


Developing a Brand Strategy


As we have just discussed, a brand strategy is a plan that outlines how an organisation will present itself to the public – it’s the perfect way for a business to demonstrate its values and purpose. For more on this, see my article the case for brand strategy.


To develop a brand strategy, the first thing that you need to do is identify your organisation’s vision and core values, as well as your target audience.


How do you do this?


The first step is understanding what makes your organisation unique. Perhaps, you serve military veterans who have lost limbs in conflict; maybe you run a shelter for neglected dogs or even a food bank to help refugees and the homeless. This is what you offer and for whom. Now add to this why you do this and how your service is authentically differentiated.


Whatever your goal is, you need to ask yourself…


What does my nonprofit stand for, and who am I trying to reach?


Once you have identified the purpose of your organisation, the next step is to develop a plan that communicates and reinforces your ideology through messaging and visual branding.


This should include establishing your brand’s visual identity. There are various ways to do this, such as designing a memorable and unique logo or developing messaging that aligns with the organisation’s values and mission, e.g. a slogan.


Note: the first step is to clarify your brand’s differentiator/ strategic identity and the second step is to let that inform your communication – graphic design etc.


Remember, the goal of your brand strategy is to help your organisation effectively communicate its unique value proposition and build trust and credibility with board members and donors. The purpose of all of these steps is to create a cohesive and consistent brand experience that highlights how incredible your organisation is.


This next section will highlight some nonprofit branding guidelines that will allow you to develop an effective nonprofit branding strategy.


Create a Truly Unique Value Proposition


The advice on the internet around “how to find a unique value proposition” is pretty vague. There is a lot of generic advice like “identify your ideal customer” and “be authentic”, but this advice is hard to work with.


Here are some actionable tips for nonprofit organisations looking to create a truly unique value proposition. Of course, it would be best if you began by adopting an approach incorporating research, testing, and selling.


Research: Although you want your unique value proposition to be unique, that doesn’t mean you can’t draw inspiration from other organisations. Look at similar nonprofits in your field, both locally and across the world. See what they are offering, and think about how you can differentiate yourself from them.


Testing: You have probably heard that the vast majority of businesses fail. Often, this is due to their unwillingness to adapt and adopt new ideas (often, these are great ideas). You need to develop several variations of your value proposition and test them with your target audience to see which ones resonate the most.


Selling: After you have developed a go-to-market unique value proposition, you can’t stop there. It would be best if you convinced people that your nonprofit is unique. Highlighting your unique value proposition in your overall marketing strategies will help reinforce your brand and ensure that potential donors understand what sets you apart. The key here is consistent branding across the organisation.


Design a Logo


Earlier, we mentioned designing a memorable logo. Even though your brand is much more than your logo, a logo is important.


Humans are highly emotional creatures that make decisions that are typically derived from feelings, not logic. So, how do you convey this through a logo?


All top brands in business have memorable logos. Just think of Apple, Nike, Amazon, and so on. However, if you have ever tried creating a logo, you will quickly realise it’s more complicated than it looks because the logo needs to convey and become shorthand for what your brand stands for.


My top advice is… don’t start with designing a logo; let your strategic brand identity inform the logo. If not, your logo design will only be informed by what you like, not your brand strategy. However, you can follow these tips to get started with your logo design:


Simplicity: A simple logo is often more effective than a complex one. Avoid using too many colours or intricate details; these can make the logo hard for the brain to process and will cause people not to give your organisation the attention it deserves. Today, we are limited by how our logos are displayed on devices like cell phones, not by our creativity.


Colour Schemes: The colour palette you use for your logo can significantly impact how your nonprofit is perceived. Colour psychology is fascinating. For example, blue is the colour most associated with trust and red stimulates appetite. Again, it’s not just about the colour you prefer; there is a strategy behind colour choices.


Typography: You don’t have to include written messaging in your logo, but many businesses decide they want to. The typeface you use in your logo can also impact how people view your business. Also, ensure it’s easy to read on small screens!


Context: Consider where and how the logo will be used, and design it accordingly. For example, will the logo be used primarily on social media or on physical goods?


Testing: Just like with your unique value proposition, don’t be afraid to try out a few different design options to see which one resonates the most with your target audience. Seek feedback from stakeholders and your donors to get a fresh perspective. Brand co-creation is becoming increasingly important, so do not be afraid to involve your stakeholders at every step of the process.


Seek Professional Help: Logo design can be expensive, but if you are having trouble developing a logo that meets all of these criteria, consider seeking the help of a specialist designer. A professional can bring valuable expertise and experience to the process and help you to develop a memorable and effective logo. Ultimately, this may be a good investment in your business, but let it be strategy-informed!


Challenges of Developing a Brand Strategy


Developing a brand strategy can actually be a very challenging process for nonprofits. This is because often you will not have the same financial backing from investors that for-profit businesses and large nonprofits have. However, some challenges related to developing an effective branding strategy can be mitigated relatively easily.


We will now walk through some of the most common challenges and provide guidance on what you can do to mitigate these hurdles.


Limited Resources

Nonprofits often have limited budgets and small teams. This can make it incredibly difficult to devote time and resources to developing a brand strategy.


The best way to mitigate this challenge is to prioritise branding efforts and focus on the brand’s most important aspects first.


Taking your brand strategy development one step at a time can help you to establish a strong foundation for the brand. Once you have this solid foundation, expanding the brand strategy over time will become much more manageable.


Competing Priorities

Nonprofits often have competing priorities, such as fundraising, program delivery, and advocacy.


It can be challenging to find the time to focus on branding when there are so many other demands that take up staff members’ time and physical resources. One way to mitigate this challenge is to involve key stakeholders in the branding process and ensure that branding is integrated into the organisation’s overall strategic plan. As I mentioned, co-branding is the way to go.


What’s the benefit of this?


Simply, it can ensure that branding efforts are aligned with the organisation’s goals and priorities, ultimately involving key stakeholders. It is an effective way to build a long-term brand where everyone feels valued.


This brings us nicely to the final challenge.


Diverse Stakeholders

Nonprofits often have a diverse group of stakeholders, e.g. donors, clients, staff, volunteers, and community partners.


This means that as you develop a brand strategy, you must consider that it meets the needs and expectations of all these different groups. Again, co-branding is a way to mitigate this challenge is to involve stakeholders within the branding process and seeking their input and feedback. This can help to ensure that the brand strategy reflects the values and priorities of the organisation’s various stakeholders but stay true to what the brand stands for.


In summary, a nonprofit organisation needs a brand like any other organisation. However, developing a brand strategy can be challenging for nonprofits. Still, these challenges can be mitigated by prioritising branding efforts, involving key stakeholders, and ensuring that branding is integrated into the organisation’s overall strategic plan.


Get Expert Help with Your Branding


Developing a brand strategy can be complicated, especially for organisations like nonprofits.


By this point, you likely have realised that developing a brand strategy should be pretty high up your to-do list. However, it does take time and resources.


One solution is to join a focus group or, better still, participate in a course or workshop. Doing this has many benefits to help develop your nonprofit brand strategy. Here are a few of the key reasons why this type of education will likely be extremely valuable for your organisation:


Expert Guidance

A workshop or consultation with a highly qualified expert with years of experience in the field can provide valuable insights and guidance on developing a strong brand strategy that supports your organisation’s goals. Enlisting an expert’s guidance will help ensure that your branding efforts are effective and aligned with your organisation’s mission statement and values.


Knowledge and Skills

A course on nonprofit brand strategy can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to develop a comprehensive brand strategy that includes all key elements, such as brand positioning, messaging, and visual identity.


Building up this bank of knowledge and skills can help you create a strong, consistent brand that effectively communicates your organisation’s unique value proposition and differentiates you from your competitors.


Networking Opportunities

Participating in a course or workshop on brand strategy can also allow you to network with other professionals in the field and share best practices and ideas.


Not only will this help you to learn from the experiences of others, but it will also enable you to develop new relationships that can be valuable for your organisation in the future.


Why You Need To Choose BrandDoctor


So, if by this point you have decided to enlist the help of a professional, your next question will almost definitely be, who?


Well, that’s where my team and I come in.


I am a distinguished brand and marketing lecturer, active researcher, and trusted consultant with a PhD in brand and marketing. With over 20 years of experience in the field, my team and I are the best suited to help you develop a brand and marketing strategy that is right for your needs.


I deploy two steps of the Brand For Success framework to my workshops, which I developed over seven years of academic research and practical application. The first step is to clarify what your brand stands for. The second step is to align your communication to your strategic brand identity to create your strong nonprofit branding and a unique brand identity. Here are some of the aspects included in the workshop:


Step 1: By the end of step 1, you will have clarity over your target market, brand personality, values, core brand associations (this links in with brand awareness), your higher purpose, personality, and so much more. This stage is delivered using scientific models, which allow us to work in a systematic process. In other words, we are very detailed in what we do.


Step 2: Once step 1 is completed and we have clarified the integral components of your brand’s strategic identity, we move on to step 2. Here, we use what we developed during step 1 as input to align all your brand communication. For example, your brand’s brand positioning, search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, lead generators, and lots more.


Attending a workshop with my team and me, where we approach your brand strategy in a manner that is both scientific and collaborative, we are confident that you will know exactly how to deploy a long-term brand strategy for your non-profit organisation that allows you to get the brand recognition you desire.


Wrap Up


To wrap up, brand strategy is how you can communicate your unique value proposition to your target market in a way that allows you to differentiate from competitors. In addition, a strong brand strategy will help you to build trust and credibility with stakeholders for years to come. As you know, this is vital for nonprofits and will help you to support your fundraising efforts.


While developing a brand strategy can be challenging for nonprofits, especially when there are limited resources and competing priorities, further education on the subject can provide organisations with the knowledge and skills needed to create a strong, effective brand.


By enrolling in a workshop or booking a consultation with a nonprofit branding expert like myself, organisations can gain valuable insights and guidance on how to develop a comprehensive brand strategy that supports their specific goals.


One final piece of advice is to consider the benefits of becoming more educated on brand strategy.


What could a strong brand strategy mean for your nonprofit? It could mean more donations, it could mean invites to speak at conferences, and it could even mean new employees and volunteers inspired by your public image.


Building a desirable brand image is an outcome of your brand strategy. Ultimately, it will open up new exciting opportunities for your nonprofit.


The first step in building the brand image you desire is to book a workshop or an individual consultation with me to learn the step-by-step process of developing a strong brand.


Taking this crucial step is the fastest way that nonprofits can position themselves for success and make a more significant impact in their communities. After all, that’s the goal, right?


It doesn’t have to be rocket science…together we will BRAND FOR SUCCESS!


Pieter Steenkamp, PhD


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Meet Dr Pieter Steenkamp

I am a brand strategist and academic and I hold a PhD in brand management. As a brand management lecturer and researcher at a university in Cape Town, South Africa and a regular visiting professor at universities in Germany, I stay updated with the latest brand management developments. This affords me the incredible opportunity to consult with leaders of some of the most admired brands.

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